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By John Lucas

Greece has continually had its admirers, notwithstanding none turns out to have loved the Athenian tavernas, the murderous site visitors and the jaded prostitutes, the petty bureaucratic tyrannies, the road noise and the heroic individualists with the irony and detachment of John Lucas. '92 Acharnon road' is a gritty portrait of a filthy urban and a wayward nation. but Lucas' love for the realities of Greece triumphs- for the Homeric kindness of her humans in the direction of strangers, for the pleasures of her desk and for the proximity of islands in transparent blue water as a shelter from the noise and pollutants of her capital urban. this can be Greece because the Greeks might realize it, obvious during the eyes of a poet.

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A pity, but you wish this online game of phrases, abstractions, theories and the remainder, differently you’ll curse the flesh drowsing at the back of you, the unshaven face noisily snoring via yours, completely unknown, after it’s robbed you of your embody and sperm. the hole strains of this bleak, comfortless poem could seem prescient, yet they're, I’m convinced, to be learn no longer as saying the onset of the affliction that used to be to kill Andreas, yet as attesting to a deep, internal loneliness that sexual touch, faraway from ameliorating, makes extra particular. Andreas’s poetry is, i do know, prominent by means of Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, an important poet who spends a lot of the 12 months in Athens, although she has a family members condo on Aegina, that is the place I first met her. It used to be one other poet, Maria Servaki, who made the introductions. Maria lives a stone’s throw clear of the home in Athens the place Seferis lived out his final years. it really is within the district of Pagrati and close to the outdated Olympic stadium during which the colonels assembled schoolchildren for parades in order that they may possibly discover ways to salute the Greek flag. (What else may still they should recognize? ) She and Katerina were scholars jointly, and even though their paths started to diverge after Maria married the through all money owed decidedly eccentric Professor of English at Athens college, Bernard Blackstone, they saved in contact. Manos and Fotini, who dwell close to Maria and comprehend her good, took Pauline and me to fulfill her on an early summer’s afternoon in 1985. the home we entered used to be cool and, with the shutters throughout to maintain out the obvious warmth, darkish, in order that at the beginning we had a few hassle in making out the décor of the room into which we have been proven. yet as our eyes tailored to the gloom we grew to become conscious of what appeared to be a number of life-size effigies of cats made from a number of fabrics: they have been posed on pedestals, on most sensible of bookcases, draped around the again of chairs, curled up on aspect tables, stretched languorously on rugs. Then one moved. Maria had no fewer than thirty-nine cats in the home. And if you’re pondering that her condominium needs to accordingly have stunk, then reassess. i've got recognized different girls who selected to maintain a good number of cats, and their homes did, it truly is precise, odor overpoweringly of cat. So, always, did they. One, a colleague within the English division at Nottingham, the place she inflicted her perspectives on Spenser on an individual who got here inside earshot, whose affected eccentricities incorporated an try and seem like Edith Sitwell, and who was once stupendously ridiculous in methods she didn’t intend, stank of cat. Her outfits, her hair, her books: all, all of a section all through. I by no means went to her flat, yet those that did got here out reeling. but Maria’s apartment smelt either fresh and candy. And all with no assistance from air fresheners or synthetic scents. An ioniser drew out stale air, yet that aside, all was once because of Maria’s insistence that her cats continue fresh conduct, that they ate merely while and the place she decreed, and that every should still preserve to its selected position in the home. A small, darkish, and excessive girl, she was once it sounds as if the reputable ‘cat-woman’ of the town.

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